Home is where the hard is … And that can be ok.

It has always seemed odd that the people we love the most can be the same people with whom we have the greatest struggles.

You and your spouse fight more than laugh. The Tahiti honeymoon has been replaced by tit-for-tat tantrums over toilet paper and toothpaste.

Your child, who was sweet and adorable when she was 11 years old, now hates your guts. She is 13, all grown up, knows everything, and you, the parent, are stupid.

You feel like every day is a test.

You feel like you are about to become a part of America’s 60% divorce rate.

Yelling, cursing, breaking things, crying, running away, and fighting are the staples of your family’s daily routine.

You are exhausted, exasperated, and …YOU ARE DONE!

As a result, a home is no longer where the “heart” is. A home is now a place where the “hard” is. I want to encourage you.
You are more normal than you feel and you are not alone.

A caution is in order here. There are some dysfunctions in a home that are not good. Abuse of any kind (physical, sexual, mental, emotional, verbal, substance) is not ok.

BUT, aside from the unacceptable issues that can plague a home, I would like to offer up that some difficulties and challenges in the home can be a sign of something positive.

To start, LOVE MAKES A SAFE PLACE. As a family, we are turning up the heat and refining gold … all of our gold. A healthy home is a free place to let the dross rise to the top.

HARDSHIP IDENTIFIES WHERE WE ARE … but … WHERE we are is NOT THE SAME as WHO we are. We might be in a bad place but that does not mean we are bad people. Accepting this reality is honestly accepting where we are, then using that knowledge, with our character, to fuel the journey out.

Finally, EXHAUSTION ISN’T FAILURE. Exhaustion doesn’t mean we are doing something wrong.

If you are discouraged about challenges in your home, true familial love will never look collectible from the outside. It is scratched and scarred and dinged. And remember, family is meant for a job to be done, not an image to protect.

Home is where the hard is … And that can be ok.

Check out more on life, love, and family at www.jimword.com